Russian Dawn (Russian Love Book 3)
Latasha clasped her new husband’s hand and looked out over the unusual collection of faces that watched as she and Iosif walked hand-in-hand down the white runner that led through double doors into bright sunshine. She looked up at Iosif, who favored her with one of his rare smiles.
“Happy?” she whispered, unable to repress her own brilliant smile.
“Da, now you are truly mine,” he replied, the deep timbre of his voice rumbling in his chest. Still holding her hand, he raised it and pressed a kiss to the back of her knuckles. Her answering smile confirmed that he’d made the right decision: this sassy woman’s love and trust would redeem his cold, hard soul.
They took their places in the receiving line, followed by Cecily and Pyotr, maid of honor and best man.
“Pyotr looks good, don’t you think?” she asked, glancing at the handsome, blond giant who had married her best friend.
“He recovered well,” Iosif said, darting a sour glance at Cecily who looked like a modern-day Marilyn Monroe in the elegant dress Latasha had picked out for her. Latasha understood his attitude. Cecily’s abrupt departure and abandonment to pursue her own dreams had hurt all of them, none more than Pytor. Pyotr, however, had forgiven her. She wished Iosif could do the same.
Further down the line stood her other best friend Giancarla and her husband Vitaly, who was also a former comrade—no pun intended—of Pyotr’s. She liked the dour man and heartily approved of the tender care he lavished upon Gia. Latasha’s mother and her oldest living brother also stood in the receiving line, accepting congratulations and handshakes from the small crowd of friends of family who had gathered to witness this odd marriage.
Latasha nearly wept when she spied a guest who was as dear, if not dearer, than her own mother.
“Mrs. Tallimar! I’m so glad you could make it,” she cried and wrapped her arms around her former high school algebra teacher, a woman who had done much more than teach math.
Faded blue eyes twinkled, and the old woman’s wrinkles deepened with her smile as she returned Latasha’s hug. “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” she said, pressing a kiss to the bride’s cheek. She looked up at Iosif, who maintained a close watch over everything having to do with his bride.
“You take good care of her, you hear me?” the retired teacher demanded. Her eyes glinted with martial force despite the smile.
“Da,” he replied and gave her a curt nod of approval. So, this was the woman who had saved his Latasha.